Mark Cartwright, former senior director of supplier diversity at Vizient Inc., has returned to Virginia Tech to helm the university’s supplier opportunity initiative.

In his new position, Cartwright will provide leadership for a comprehensive program to improve the availability of small, woman-owned, minority-owned, and local suppliers to the university community. He will work closely with the director of procurement, professional buying staff, facilities and construction leadership, and departmental personnel to identify capable and competitive supplier resources to maximize the opportunities for participation in the competitive procurement process.

Cartwright will also be responsible for representing the university at educational outreach events, meeting with state officials and other representatives of higher education, and serving as a dedicated resource for small, woman-owned, minority-owned, and local suppliers seeking to do business with the university.

“The energy and passion for diversity that Mark brings to the university will be a true benefit for departments and vendors alike,” explains Mary Helmick, director of procurement at Virginia Tech. “Mark provides expert knowledge of best practices that can be utilized to expand our utilization of small and diverse vendors. We are very happy that he is back home at Virginia Tech.”

Cartwright was formerly the senior director of Supplier Diversity for Vizient, the largest group purchasing organization and member-owned healthcare performance-improvement company in the country. During Cartwright's tenure at Vizient, its supplier diversity program gained tremendous exposure and was recognized for its excellence by, Black EOE Journal, U.S. Veterans Magazine, Women's Enterprise USA, DiversityPlus Magazine, Minority Business News, and the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce.

In September, Cartwright was awarded the Earl G. Reubel Award for Civic Leadership during the 12th Annual Healthcare Supplier Diversity Symposium hosted by Owens & Minor. The award is named for the late founder of Kerma Medical Products, one of the largest African American owned manufacturers and suppliers in the acute healthcare space.

Prior to Vizient, Cartwright accepted the role as the first supplier diversity manager at Virginia Tech in 2007. Enjoying early success, he left the university in 2011 after being appointed to the newly created role of special assistant to the governor for supplier diversity and procurement compliance. Reporting directly to then Gov. Robert McDonnell, Cartwright was charged with providing leadership and guidance to state agency heads, legislators, advocacy groups, and suppliers in an effort to increase opportunity and inclusion within the state government supply chain.

Prior to his entry into the supplier diversity arena, Cartwright enjoyed more than 15 successful years in the retail, commercial, and direct banking industries in various management roles.

Cartwright holds an MBA and undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech. Beyond his academic pursuits, Cartwright is a Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus and a past president of the Virginia Tech Black Faculty and Staff Caucus. He is credentialed by the Institute for Supply Management as a Certified Professional in Supply Management and a Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity.

Share this story